Affordableand Quality Healthcare for All
Affordableand quality healthcare is a right for all citizens. Examining thistopic, I am reminded five years back in 2010, when the congresspassed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, (ACA) tobecome law (Murray and Montgemery 1). The main target was controllingof costs and betterment of the quality and coverage of healthcare tomore American nationals. Largely, the ACA contributed in promotingquality in the provision of healthcare services amongst Americans andeliminated discrimination that characterized the earlier healthpolicy.
Before2010, the ACA, many perceived, was a massive failure. First, it wastoo expensive for majority of the Americans where exorbitant costswere imposed despite of the low quality of healthcare that was beingoffered. Secondly, it discriminated against poor families and seniorswith pre-existing conditions. Today, the ACA although not perfect,due to increase in taxes (Senger 3) has had profound benefits forAmerica’s health security.
Oneof the positive outcomes of the ACA today is that it has madehealthcare significantly less expensive. After the signing of the ACTinto law, the cost of healthcare per capita has gone up only 3percent annually in the last five years. This is a tremendousimprovement as compared to the last eight years when per capita costof healthcare increased by 6 percent annually. This has been theslowest growth in the last 50 years. This indicates that, with ACA,America is on the right path moving towards making healthcare evenmore affordable (Murray and Montgemery 2).
Thehealthcare policy that existed before the Patient Protection andAffordable Care Act was passed required that senior who werepreviously employed then retired to change their healthcare insuranceplan that were subsidized to a marketplace plan. This, in itself wasdiscrimination based on the age. With Medicare, citizen above 65years of age can now access free preventive care services free ofcharge. Still, those under prescription drug can purchase them at alower cost. Another positive thing with the ACA is that, Americancitizens have gained more control over their healthcare. Unlikebefore when insurance companies made life-and-death decisions,Americans are now able to make a decision through their doctors andfamilies. One of the key issues is that, the ACA has virtuallyeliminated discrimination of people with pre-existing medicalconditions by insurance companies. Earlier, individuals who hadpre-existing conditions were denied or forced to drop insuranceplans. (Murray and Montgemery 2).
Inaddition, women are now able to access maternal healthcare at anaffordable cost. This includes the insurance plans in the FederalContraceptive Coverage Rule for women (Lipton-Lubet and Counsel 1).Moreover, cancer patients do not have limits for insurance coverwhile children can remain on the healthcare plan of their parentsuntil they attain 26 years of age. One last and important thing isthat, insurance companies will now refund customers if they spendless that 80 percent of their collections on healthcare premiums.
Thepassage of ACA into law was not just a reform to America’shealthcare system. For me, I was affected directly. At the age of 5year, my younger brother Joe was diagnosed with brain cancer that wastermed to be at advanced stage. Joe is now 13 having benefited fromthe health insurance plan that enabled my parents fight his sickness.TRICARE continued to offer insurance plan for my brother withoutconsidering that he was suffering from cancer.
Lipton-Lubet,Sarah and Policy Counsel, “Promoting Equality: An analysis of thefederal contraceptive coverage rule” AmericaCivil Liberties Union,n.p. 2012. Web May 5 2015<https://www.aclu.org/files/assets/promoting_equality_-_an_analysis_of_the_federal_contraceptive_coverage_rule.pdf>
MurrayShailagh and Lori Montgomery. “House passes health-care reform billwithout republican votes” TheWashington Post.March 22, 2010. Web May 5, 2015http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/21/AR2010032100943.html?sid=ST2010032201830
Senger,Alyene. “Obamacare’s Impact on seniors: An update” TheHeritage Foundation.August 20, 2013. Web May 6, 2015<http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/08/obamacares-impact-on-seniors-an-update>